A significant body of research suggests that adolescent males who publicly identify as gay experience disproportionately high rates of psychological problems and that many of those problems stem from how homosexuality is perceived by parents, peers, and the larger culture. Much less is known about the psychological challenges faced by teens who have not disclosed their homosexuality to others and who, therefore, are largely unavailable to researchers. This paper investigates the psychological experience of this significant but hidden population of pre-disclosers using a Hermeneutic/Thematic research methodology.
To place the work in context, a broad social, historical, and cultural survey of homosexuality is provided including: genetic and neurobiological research, prevalence studies, an examination of psychological theories about homosexuality from Sigmund Freud to the present, and a brief survey of social attitudes today and throughout history in the United States and in other cultures with an emphasis on the relationship between homosexuality and Christianity. Largely due to a lack of available research in these broad categories about lesbianism, bisexuality, or the issues of transgendered people, this work is limited in scope to a discussion of male homosexuality.
The specific discussion of adolescent homosexuality in males, and the broader discussion of gay teenagers, is grounded in an exploration of current theories about adolescent psychological development, including brain development, developmental models, and through a review of relevant depth psychological perspectives. Finally, using composite cases drawn from years of clinical work with this population, an investigation into the psychological lives of three teenage boys is provided that highlights the questions they face within, and the consequences they meet in the world, when they say the words "I am gay."
|Advisor:||Katsky, Patricia O.|
|Commitee:||Resnick, Bill, Selig, Jennifer L.|
|School:||Pacifica Graduate Institute|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, GLBT Studies, Counseling Psychology, Developmental psychology, Psychology|
|Keywords:||Adolescent homosexuality, Adolescent therapy, Gay teens, Gay teens and schools, Homosexuality, Homosexuality and psychology|
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